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Plight of the Bumblebee

 

Now everyone can do something to help preserve one of natures little marvels, the humble bee.  We have 250 species in the UK, 25 Bumblebee species, 225 solitary bees and one Honey Bee.

However, they are now in extreme danger of dying out in the UK, but did you know that we rely on bees to pollinate three quarters of the worlds food crops? So it is vital that we play our part in the survival of these species.

Most people when they think of bees link them with the production of honey or something to be avoided at all costs and often kill these generally docile little creatures.

Next time you sit down to enjoy your favourite meal or cup of coffees try to spare a thought for the hard working bee that pollinated all the plants vital to produce the food and drink we take for granted everyday.

The dramatic decline of the bee is something we should all have a vested interest in.  The cost to our economy and everyday way of life would be seriously affected.

So what can we do to help these little fellows?  Firstly we need to provide a range of plant types to attract as many different species as possible.  Did you know that some bees have extremely long tongues, hence the reason to provide as many different flower forms as possible.

You can find out quite easily more information for plants that help with natures pollinators.  The Royal Horticultural Society (www.rhs.org.uk) provides an extensive listing of species to get your garden buzzing, including many of the Spring flowering bulb varieties listed in our range - look out for the RHS logo.

For a more in depth read on preserving our bees visit www.foe.co.uk for an insight into the natural disaster facing this vital part of our ecology.  And for those who would like to identify the different types of bees visiting your garden view www.bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/identification/

When planning your Spring garden, Spring flowering bulbs not only add colour but are a good way of providing food for the many species of bees and butterflies that inhabit our island.

But it is key to remember that of the pesticides used in intensive farming and some in general gardens that contain Neonicotinoids are bad for bees, insects, birds, fish and small mammals and have contributed to demise of our bees.  Yet we as gardeners can help protect our bees and preserve the future for generations to come by simply planting bulbs, plants and shrubs to create a blaze of colour and food source over a period of months.

It can be as simple as adding a window box, planters and hanging baskets to your home or be more creative and build a haven for all manner of wildlife with impressive impact displays of Spring flowering bulbs in and amongst trees, shrubs and roses.

A container on the patio packed full of crocus, muscari and alliums will also attract an abundance of bees, while an informal garden or grass area set aside and left to naturalise will provide a perfect home.

Growing your own vegetables such as French, runner and broadbeans, onions and peppers as well as soft fruits, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries or fruiting trees, apples, pears and plums will attract pollinating bees.

In reality the more diverse your plant selection and the longer the flowering season the wider the range of wildlife visitors.

Firstly we need to put aside the pesticides and encourage natural predators of pests such as hoverflies, beetles and ladybirds.

Then create a habitat to attract those essential bees, most flowers contain pollen but the varieties listed below are considered to be pollen rich.

 

Winter Flowers

Crocus, Eranthis hyemalis and Galanthus/Snowdrops.

 

Spring Flowers

Allium Ursinum, Anemone nemerosa, Bluebells, Crocus, Muscari and Ornithogalum.

 

Summer Flowers

Alliums and Dahlias.

 

Trees and Woodland Areas

Allium Ursinum, Anemone nemerosa, Bluebells, Crocus, Eranthis and Snowdrops.

 

Containers, Tubs and Window Boxes

Crocus and Muscari

 

Garden

Alliums, Crocus, Galanthus nivalis (Snowdrop), Muscari and Ornithogalums.

 

Butterflies

Plants that are in full sun attract butterflies to the garden Hyacinths, Bluebells and Muscari are known to be firm favourites.  Remember that caterpillars need a food source the www.butterfly-conservation.org is very informative.

 

Wild Birds

Creating an insect topia will naturally attract some of our most loved bird species.

For any help, call us on:
01775 769 333

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